Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Awaiting planting in southwestern Minnesota April 23, 2014

YOU CAN SEE IT, sense it, almost smell and hear it—the anticipation of spring planting.

Along Minnesota State Highway 19 between Redwood Falls and Vesta.

Along Minnesota State Highway 19 between Redwood Falls and Vesta.

Bare and stubbled fields stretch for miles and miles across southwestern Minnesota, earth turned to the warming sun, awaiting the seeds of spring.

Only remnants of winter remain in scattered patches of road ditch snow.

Along Brown County 29 southeast of Morgan.

Along Brown County Road 29 southeast of Morgan.

On the edges of farm yards, tractors and planters and other implements sit, pulled from machine sheds. Greased. Oiled. Ready.

Farmers wait. Thawing spring rains fall. Frost rises from the ground. Drying winds whip across the land.

A child-size John Deere tractor photographed in my hometown of Vesta.

A child-size John Deere tractor photographed at dusk a yard away from a field in my hometown of Vesta.

And the days unfold into the season of renewal and hope and sowing of seeds.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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24 Responses to “Awaiting planting in southwestern Minnesota”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    Lots of discing going on around here and I didn’t spy a planter in the field on my way home yesterday on Hwy 50 between Hampton and Miesville. Looking forward to seeing some green in those fields; not a reference to John Deere.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    It’s coming, isn’t it? I can feel it in the air. The grass is getting green and we are looking forward to seeing the tractors in the fields again. Finally.

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    And the farmers at morning coffee talk of nothing else!!!!!

    • I’m sure. When you can’t be in the field, you may as well converse about being in the field.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        Kinda like quilting and biking……the next best thing to actually ‘doing’ it is finding some “kindred spirits” to exchange thoughts with!!!!! (substitute any activity into the above thought!!!! LOL!)

      • You are correct. Have you had the bikes out yet?

      • treadlemusic Says:

        Not yet. DH’s is in the shop for a starter rebuild and I……well……..I am extremely cautious when it comes to that first ride after winter. The roads have finally cleared of all the sand that accumulated over the winter but the weather is chilly and soggy. I’m patient, though…..quilting keeps me occupied!!!! LOL!!!

      • I remember you talking before about the sand on the roadways which can make for slippery/unsafe conditions. We saw lots of bikers this past weekend while traveling to and from southwestern Minnesota.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        This past Saturday was a huge biker event called the “Flood Run” along the Mississippi River. The day was perfect and, apparently, uneventful as far as mishaps. We/I haven’t gone on it for a couple of years!!

      • I remember you talking about this ride in past years. That would be a lovely ride, along the Mississippi River.

  4. Beautiful Captures – love the anticipation this time of year for the NEW! – baby animals, seedlings, crazy bird love, etc. 🙂 Happy Hump Day!

    • Yes, I was pretty pleased with the shots taken from the passenger side of a moving van. I never quite know what I’ll get and I’m typically pleasantly surprised.

      There’s something about an unplanted field…

    • Mr. Craves does not always get the captures I take while road tripping. Unlike us who see an unplanted field and just have to capture it 🙂

      • If you’re like me, and I think you are, your camera is a natural extension of your hand and you simply have to capture that which you see. And those who are not so into photography don’t always see the details we do. It’s partly a learned skill, partly a natural ability.

      • My camera is very much a part of my body. I have been interested in photography since I was 11 or 13 years of age and started getting into cameras and doing photography at 17. I agree that there is the natural as well as the learned when it comes to skill.

      • You’ve been into photography way longer than me. My interest came along with my journalism degree and subsequent newspaper reporting jobs, many years ago. Then when I started writing for a magazine and doing other writing, I picked up photography again. But it was getting a DSLR that really opened up the world of photography for me.

      • LOVE My DSLR – Best Gift Ever – has so opened up my world too 🙂

      • You get it, sister shutter bug.

  5. hotlyspiced Says:

    I’m so pleased to see the snow has all but melted. It must be lovely to see the ground again! I’m sure the farmers have been anxiously awaiting the moment when they can get out and plant again. I love seeing how your seasons change xx

  6. Jackie Says:

    Yes, I’m sure the farmers are biting at the bit to get out in the fields, shouldnt be long now. My crocus’s are blooming…always a sign that spring has sprung!


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